What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin care procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture. It can also improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, scarring, melasma, and stretch marks. This procedure was developed in Europe during the 1980’s and became approved by the FDA in 1996. It is typically performed by a licensed skincare professional, and depending on the state, may not need the supervision of a healthcare provider. It is deemed safe for any gender, age, and ethnicity. The number of sessions needed in order to see results depends on the severity of the skin concerns. There is little to no down time after a microdermabrasion procedure but the results are not permanent. In 2017, the average cost of a microdermabrasion procedure was $137.00 and in 2018 the average cost decreases to $131.00.


Types of Microdermabrasion

There are three different types of microdermabrasion devices; diamond-tip handpiece, crystal microdermabrasion, and hydradermabrasion.


Diamond-Tip Handpiece: designed to gently exfoliate dead cells on the skin while simultaneously suctioning them off. The depth of abrasion depends on the pressure applied to the handpiece and how long the suction remains on the skin. This method is best on the face and for sensitive skin.


Crystal Microdermabrasion: uses a crystal emitting handpiece to spray fine crystals on the skin to rub away outer layers. Crystals are then suctioned off. Aluminum oxide and sodium bicarbonate are examples of crystals used.


Hydradermabrasion: involves combining simultaneous dermal infusion of products and crystal-free exfoliation. This process stimulates collagen production and maximizes blood flow.

Side Effects and Contraindications of Microdermabrasion

Side Effects

  • Mild tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Dry/flaky skin
  • Minor bruising
  • Burning
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Small abrasions
  • Thinning of the skin
  • Couperose capillaries
  • Discoloration


  • Open wounds
  • Retin-A use
  • Sunburn
  • Rash
  • The use of blood thinners
  • Medical edema
  • Recent laser treatment
  • Recent chemical peel
  • Pregnancy
  • Contagious disease
  • Skin cancer
  • Rosacea
  • Active cystic acne
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Suspicious lumps, bumps, or lesions

Microdermabrasion in The Treatment Room

It is important to understand your client’s needs, skin type, medical background, and daily regiments before deciding to perform a microdermabrasion treatment. The key is moderation. Start with a test patch and proceed from there. Before your client’s first procedure they should abstain from hair removal treatments, laser treatments, injections, and exfoliation treatments for at least 2 weeks prior. During a microdermabrasion procedure it is important for you to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and a face mask. Following the procedure, make sure to properly sanitize the machine and all of its instruments. For clients who ask about at home microdermabrasion treatments, be sure to emphasize that receiving a treatment in office insures deeper penetration and precise exfoliation. This decreases the risk of side effects and boosts skin results!



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